At my mum’s house in FNQ she has a garden full of gorgeous ginger plants. Their leaves always look slick and deep dark green and they have flowers that spike through the foliage. There is a torch ginger that grows huge bulbous red flowers and when I’m there I walk around the rainforest covered slopes next to the house, in muddy borrowed, Blundstones boots, and snip long stalks of ginger flowers to arrange in the house.
Here in Melbourne I have to be satisfied with the fleeting beauty of magnolias, cherry blossoms, and the posies Sarah makes from other peoples’ gardens in the neighbourhood. She makes a good posy. But I miss the garish colours of tropical QLD, flowers that are so crazy beautiful they hurt your eyes.
This cake is to remind us of QLD days, it’s so bright and gingery. With three types of ginger it has a multi layered spice effect. Every now and then there is the potent crunch of crystallised ginger in the very afternoon tea style crumb of the cake. Delicious.
Triple Ginger Cake
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s Triple Ginger Cake from Kitchen Diaries
This cake gets better and better when you wrap it in foil and let it sit. Ours didn’t last that long…
250g self-raising flour
2 level tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
200g golden syrup
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp finely chopped crystalised ginger
1 thumb sized nob of fresh ginger, grated
2 heaped tbsp sultanas
125g dark muscavado sugar
2 large free-range eggs
Grease and line a square cake tin around 20-22cm.
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Sieve the flour with the ground ginger, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and the salt. Put the golden syrup, the honey and the butter into a small saucepan, and warm over a low heat. Dice the crystalised ginger finely then add it to the pan with the sultanas and sugar. Let the mixture bubble gently for a minute, giving it the occasional stir to stop the fruit sticking to the bottom.
Break the eggs into a bowl, pour in the milk and beat gently to break up the egg. Remove the butter and sugar mixture from the heat and set aside to cool and then pour into the flour, stirring smoothly and firmly with a large metal spoon. Mix in the milk and eggs to this mixture. The mixture should be sloppy, with no trace of flour.
Scoop the mixture into the non-stick or lined cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. Unless you are serving it warm, leave the cake in its tin to cool, then tip out on to a sheet of greaseproof paper. Wrap it up again in foil and leave to mature for a day or two before eating.